Harbaugh facing four-game suspension


INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh averaged 20 pass attempts per game as a starting quarterback for the Wolverines for two seasons in the mid-1980s.

But he probably exceeded that number by giving the same answer every time he was asked Thursday at Big Ten Football Media Days about rumors of a deal being negotiated with the NCAA which could result in a four-game suspension for him at the start of this season.

“I can’t discuss any aspect of that,” Harbaugh said to repeated questions about those rumors.

The possible four-game suspension for Harbaugh would be for not being truthful with investigators about low level NCAA violations. Lying to investigators is classified as a Level I violation. The original violations were classified as Level II.

Some other thoughts from Harbaugh:

—MOVING ‘THE GAME’ : Harbaugh is not interested in talking about moving the Ohio State-Michigan game from its traditional spot as the last regular season game dating back to the 1930s. OSU coach Ryan Day said on Wednesday he would like to see more discussion of that possibility.

“We’ll play that whenever it’s scheduled to be played. We know we’re going to play it every season at least once. I don’t have a particular opinion of when it should be played,” Harbaugh said.

“Right now it’s played the last game of the season. I think everybody’s used to that. It’s part of the Thanksgiving tradition now. So that’s when we’ll expect it.”

—McCARTHY MAGNIFICENT: Harbaugh said quarterback J.J. McCarthy had the best first year as a starting quarterback at Michigan that he can remember last season.

“I have searched my memory for somebody who has been a first-time starter and had a better first year as a first-time starter and I can’t come up with one,” Harbaugh said.

“He’s a once-in-a-generational type of quarterback at Michigan, and his progress continues to grow. Daily he’s at the top of his game right now, really in all aspects. Everything that he does athletically, everything that he does throwing the football are at the elite level.”

“And then I think the thing that makes him the most special, differentiating good and great, is that he’s willing to do anything for his teammates, anything for his team,” Harbaugh said.

– CORUM’S RETURN A BIG DAY: Senior running back Blake Corum, who had knee surgery after last season, chose to return to Michigan instead of entering the NFL draft, which made Harbaugh smile. “That made my day. Made my week. Made my offseason,” Harbaugh said.

“What he shared with me was he wanted the full offseason. He wanted to be able to get not even back to where he was but better, stronger, faster, quicker than where he was. He wanted that season.

And then when it was time for him to go into the NFL, he wanted to be able to go in fully prepared with a full workout leading up to those combines and to that draft.”

– PORTAL IS OK WITH HIM: Harbaugh said he is not in favor of changing the transfer portal. “I would say so far so good and no need to change. Surely we need more data,” he said.

“Of all the players that I’ve talked to, those that came from the portal to our team, they categorized it as a good thing. And at least it was their decision — their decision and their family’s decision. Even when I talk to our own players who haven’t gone into the portal and asked them what do you think of the portal, they say it does more good than it is negative.”

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